Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yo dawg!

The rest of our little UK escapade was awesome and is brought to you by the word NICE, the phrase "yo dawg," and weed. On the 13th we went shopping in Leeds and I got some shoes at Top Man and we went to the Cobra/ATL show in Leeds that night and did a Blink cover w/ATL for their encore it was hella fun. After that the venue had a club night so we partied with babezzz all night (and of course got with none of them), it ruled.
The first of The Peel shows was awesome but the second was way better, at least for me because ATL played and did a Midtown cover w/Gabe and both the SYG and Movielife sets went off harder the 2nd night in my opinion. Lags and his girl came out, as did many of our other friends new and old. Afterwards everyone from the show went to party at The Works, where JT spins. All in all it was a great trip. Some of the best shows we've played since the inception of our band.
We awoke at the crack of dawn and flew back to the states. I slept for the majority of the flight. We hung out at Strader's and played Halo 3 with his friends that night.
The ICC show was retarded. Sooo much hotter and way more packed than last time... it was sold out! After our set I was so exhausted that I went outside and threw up 3 times in a row. It sucked. The best shows are always the hardest to play. Keith and Pike came out for the show so we got to talk biz with them for a minute and we all got fitted for in-ear monitors after the show. We got Spike's with Fubu, Jeff, and the JS and Fireworks guys, then headed out to Cleveland where we got a hotel.
Cleveland was the last day of the HTL/Farewell/Sing It Loud tour and we were added as main support. Some girls brought us gourmet cupcakes and Wawa lemonade tea. Ruled. This show was sold out too and the first thing the promoter lady said to Craig when he warned her that the crowd would be crazy for us was, "oh well I wouldn't worry about it too much... Nobody's here to see you." We definitely made her feel dumb after about 30 seconds into our set when we had to stop playing because security was overwhelmed, Jordan's mic cable snapped, kids were diving onto a pile of bodies, and some girl had a panic attack. We were like, "wow that didn't take long!" We warned the crowd that if they didn't want to get knocked into then it'd be best not to stand in the very front. Immediately 8-10 girls moved from the front of the stage over to the side of the room. We resumed the set playing to a frenzy of kids going completely nuts. I thought I was going to break my neck. The whole set was pretty much nonstop chaos. It was by far the best set we've played in Cleveland so far, and after we played about half the crowd left which is always lame. Hit The Lights still put on an awesome show though and afterwards the lady came up and apologized to Craig.
The DeKalb, IL show was the first official date of the "TM Pumps!" tour and it was at this little cafe we'd played once before. Craig explained the promoter had to cut off presales because it came close to selling out in advance. 3rd sold out show in a row, not too shabby! what I don't understand is why Pike continues to book us at these tiny venues that are way too small/dangerous for us to play in cities where he knows we draw? My guess is that he's just too lazy to do otherwise but I wish I could figure it out. Anyway the DeKalb show went over well and afterwards we made the drive of death to Denver!
Denver was cool, Maris came and took pictures of a scantily-clad Mikey for his myspace and I hung out with my friend Nina, good times for sure. There was a Thrice/Circa Survive show across town and a Rockies game that same night, which probably affected the show's draw. Only like 150 paid but they got their money's worth in MOSH. After the show we gave Maris a ride to his graveyard before embarking on another wonderful drive to beautiful St. George, Utah!
I've never been to St. George before in my life, but man, is it ever boring! Last night was the smallest show we've played in over 2 years. There were like 7 presales, 103 total paid, and up until we played, we'd only done $75 in merch. Somehow we ended up selling something like $525 in merch by the end of the show and kids went off despite the small crowd and the "No Moshing" signs posted everywhere. Hit The Lights had a busted alternator but they somehow managed to fix it themselves and made it in time to play the show which was amazing. After the show the whole tour went to Vegas and most of them stayed up gambling and getting drunk/stoned until the sun came out. This was very entertaining to watch. I lost $30 playing blackjack, slots, and roulette before heading up to HTL's room to witness Dave and Anthony (their TM) having a drunken mattress fight while we all watched and laughed hysterically. I think it was around 5:30 AM when I finally made it back to our room and as I drifted off the last thing I remember was Craig closing the blinds to block out the sunlight as Mikey and Junior got out of bed and headed back down to the casino.
Vegas. Fuck yes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

U Mad?

So far, this trip to Europe has been amazing and brutal at the same time. The flight over to London was wack. Ben (our driver) is pretty much Phil's twin so that rules. His van is a lot smaller than we'd anticipated so the entire time we've been sharing our leg room with a mountain of merch bags and luggage which sucks but luckily the long drives are over. Upon being picked up from the airport, we all decided to go to Amsterdam on our day off and party. Good idea. We took a pretty weak ferry across the English Channel to France and drove to an overpriced hotel in Belgium in the early morning and slept all day. We hung out with the horse and the Shar Pei that were running around the hotel's back yard during the day, and that evening we got amazing food at what seemed like a truck stop diner on steroids on our way to Amsterdam. Once there, we walked around for hours just drooling at hookers in between stops at cafes where everyone except for Junior and myself got high eating and smoking various THC-containing products. As with every other visit to Amsterdam, every ten minutes or so we would walk by guys asking, "Coca? Ecstasy?" so I started saying it to them first haha. All in all it was a fun night and at the end of our excursion a baked Ben drove us back to our hotel where the butter-toothed old man let us in at 3 AM.
We woke up early and headed to Groezrock. This thing was way organized. I was tired and hot so I slept in our dressing room until the fest started. We opened the fest at 5:30 PM but our set was awesome and the sound was surprisingly really good despite the fact that we were playing on a gigantic stage in a massive tent. There were so many friends at that thing that it felt like we weren't even in another country across the ocean. Anti-Flag, Silverstein, and All Time Low were all there. We got a chance to see ATL kill it and hang out with Fubu (who showed up way late) before taking off for London. I felt bad because we didn't have room for Fubu but there was nothing we could do. Luckily he made it the next day.
The drive back sucked even more because we were already so tired and sleeping for like 20 minutes on the ferry was just a tease. There was no point in getting a hotel since load-in was so early, so we attempted to sleep in the van in the parking lot of a Tesco down the street from the venue. We were so tired by the time we got to Give It A Name fest that we all just immediately crashed on the concrete floor of our dressing "cubicle" the minute we got there. Luckily we had Ben and Phil to save our asses, taking care of checking us in and getting merch sorted out in the morning while we slept. I Woke up more tired than I was when I'd fallen asleep and we all played exhausted to about 20,000 people. Unfortunately everything that could've gone wrong, did. Mics and guitars cut out and the camera guy stepped on a power cable at one point, causing half the stage to lose power for the second half of "Flight of The Navigator" which caused the rest of us to lose track of where we were in the song. We should've just stopped playing but we continued on, further embarrassing ourselves by completing the song... no big deal, it was only the biggest show of our career to date! Keith was there and unfortunately witnessed the entire disaster. After that I tried to sleep some more but I was so stressed and tired already that I couldn't. All Time Low were awesome and so were Paramore.
When we got to Annie's I went to get food down the street with Dan and Joe once we got there and we witnessed the craziest brawl ever. There were like 5 dudes with their girlfriends being kicked out of a bar and fighting with security, and security was fighting back! I got a couple seconds of footage with my camera. That night we got like 4 hours of sleep. So pointless. Oh well, at least we got to shower.
The Sheffield fest was about half the size and way more laid back, not to mention our set went over way better. I was so bored all day before we played. I was relieved to see Fubu though, he'd made it alive! Alex from ATL came out during our set and did a song with us, then Hayley came out and did the end of "To Be Continued" with us too (it sounded so good!) so all in all it was a fun set. ATL owned as always and the rest of the show was great. After the fest we walked with ATL and Paramore to look for food but after walking 15 minutes in the wrong direction, we realized that T.G.I. Friday's, and everything else, were closed due to it being 12:30 AM on a Sunday night. Stupid England. Apparently you can't do ANYTHING after 6 PM on Sundays here, not even eat. Not to worry though, there are always plenty of Kebab shops! We went to one near Leeds on the way home and got pizzas for ₤2.50 at a place called "Simpsons Pizza." The outside of it was decorated with characters from The Simpsons (I guess they don't have copyright laws in the UK), it was amazing. Junior and I hung out in the kebab shop while everyone else got high in the van. The ride to Helen's house until we went to sleep was undoubtedly one of the funniest hours of my life.
Today we got Popina's in the morning and I took it easy at Helen's with Phil while everyone else went to Movielife practice. Ruled.